Emgarten's big night secures W over Hawkeyes

Senior Spartan Cash Emgarten’s breakaway slam dunk set the tone early in the first quarter as the Exira-EHK Spartans had a dominant 72-44 victory.

"Getting this win tonight was big, because we lost Tuesday," Emgarten said. "Then we came back and got a win yesterday which was huge, and then we got another tonight which helps us get momentum towards Monday."

Emgarten scored the first two baskets of the game, but Junior Hawkeye Jamison Martin responded with a 3-pointer. Following Martin's shot, Emgarten took over and scored the next four of five buckets for his team ending with a slam dunk that got the Spartan crowd roaring.

"I was just happy my teammates were getting me the ball, and letting me do what I can do," Emgarten added. "They did all their parts, I did mine, and it worked out pretty well."

After Emgarten's dunk, Senior Aiden Flathers scored the final basket of the quarter with a shot from mid-range, taking an 11-point lead into the second quarter.

The second quarter started off as a back-and-forth affair with Spartan Senior Jackson Radcliff scoring first, followed by a 3-pointer from Flathers. The Hawkeyes responded with 3-point shots from Junior Jason Barry and Senior Mason McIntosh, but Flathers scored once again giving the Spartans a 35-18 lead. Emgarten capped off the first half with free throws, giving the Spartans a 39-23 point lead at halftime.

"We were just trying to keep our foot on the pedal," said Spartan Head Coach Tony Santisteban. "I didn't want to show up West Harrison whatsoever, but I just wanted us for our sake to be more engaged, and make sure we were ready to go, stay locked in, stay focused, and go from there."

The Spartans got off to a slow start in the third quarter the Hawkeyes opening the quarter with a 8-1 run, bringing themselves back within 10, but the Spartans got their ship righted with Emgarten scoring a basket, followed by Senior Jonas LaCanne sinking one, forcing a timeout from Hawkeye head coach Rowdy Evans.

When play resumed, McIntosh got possession of the ball, and made a shot from 3-point range making it a 47-36 game entering the final quarter.

The Spartans were able to get back on track with a dominant fourth quarter starting with free throws from Flathers, followed by a 3-pointer from him, extending the Spartans lead to 15 points. Emgarten added a few more buckets, including another slam dunk late in the quarter at one point putting his team up 21 points. The Hawkeyes got a few more 3-pointers from Junior Nolan Birdsall and McIntosh, but the Spartans won easily, earning their 12th win of the season.

"Tuesday was a battle, and we came up short," Santisteban said. "Thursday, Panorama gave us everything we could handle, and tonight's first half I liked it. Second half we finished strong, but I didn't like the start of the second half."

Monday at 7:30 p.m. the Spartans will be back at home facing Rolling Valley rival, the 12-1 Woodbine Tigers, whose only loss came against the Spartans Nov. 28 by a score of 76-60. The Tigers are led by Carter Gruver averaging 20.2 points, 4.5 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game.

"Monday's a big one," Emgarten said. "We have four games this week, so it's going to be a grind. Win out. That's what we expect from each other, and that's what we plan to do. Hopefully we get all four of those ones."



Harlan Newspapers

1114 7th Street
P.O. Box 721
Harlan, IA 51537-0721

(800) 909-6397

Comment Here